Everton 0 - 0 Liverpool

While driving towards Dan's, Gaz kindly turned around and drove back to my house so I could pick up my glasses... only for us to then do the same thing for Dan once we'd picked him up! We were well ahead of time so it mattered not, and we were soon lurking around Goodison Park with a few tins awaiting the coach to arrive. 

It was more low key than it has been for previous coach welcomings. I can only assume the 12:30 pm kick-off made it too early for some, though it was still good fun nonetheless and Goodison Road is quite the sight when the air is filled with blue smoke. Once the coach had been we hung around for a while and enjoyed our drinks before moving on into a raucous Gwladys Street concourse.

Goodison Park roared as the players took to the field, and then booed and jeered loudly to unwelcome our neighbours. Jordan Pickford won the toss, and Everton attacked towards the Park End in the first half. 

It was great to see Frank Lampard have enough confidence in the three-man midfield to stick at it, and nice to see Tom Davies retain his place after some good recent performances. He was partnered by Alex Iwobi and Amadou Onana. Nathan Patterson continued his promising form at right-back, and what's this I see in attack? An actual out-and-out striker. Mind blown. Welcome aboard Neal, that wasn't a bad debut at all.

I'm writing this without having had an opportunity to see the highlights, so it's difficult to recap everything from such an action-packed game, but the overall experience was a very positive one, and it's the sort of Goodison Park Merseyside derby we've all missed. The sole Rafa Benitez derby was as painful as it gets. The Carlo Ancelotti ones were fanless. We're maybe going back to Marco Silva's only Goodison Park derby for that similar intensity in this fixture... and I seem to remember a certain Idrissa Gueye playing a key role in that goalless draw.

Everton have felt traumatic since then – a seemingly endless run of Rafa Benitez defeats into January this year feeling the lowest ebb. It's requiring patience but today felt like a line in the sand has been drawn. I think Frank spoke for all of us after the game when he said, "We're not celebrating or glorifying a 0-0, we're actually seeing a team with spirit that is organised and gives everything. That makes me proud."

Article continues below video content

It feels like a bit of a benchmark has been set. A standard of expectation. A squad that finally looks as though it has been recruited sensibly. A manager we can buy into. A manager that loves being here and is determined to make his mark. A brand new stadium in the works, steel stands visible from your drive or train ride to Goodison Park. And supporters in unison behind it all. Good times ahead?

Well, on today's evidence, you could suggest so. Liverpool dominated possession early though Everton appeared comfortable enough with that before making some inroads of their own. Anthony Gordon gave Alisson an early feel of the ball; had Neal Maupay scuffed his chance even more, it might have actually found Alex Iwobi or Anthony Gordon for a simple tap in; and Tom Davies was very unfortunate to see his effort come back off the post – the second time he's been thwarted in a Merseyside derby with the score goalless.

At the other end, Darwin Nunez showed me at least why he will be a handful in this league with his ability to win so many headers, though lucky for us he couldn't direct them on target. His half-volleyed effort was more impressive, however, and Jordan Pickford did very well to tip that onto the crossbar. Luis Diaz picked up the rebound and shimmied inside, though fortunately the ball cannoned away off the inside of the post. 

The last 10 minutes of the half were tough to watch as Liverpool applied heavy pressure, though credit to the lads for holding firm, and trying to break when they had opportunities. At half-time you were happy enough. We were certainly in the game.

A game we thought we'd won of course. We celebrated accordingly when Conor Coady found the net from close range (accordingly, for the record, I was hugging as many people around me as possible in something of an out-of-control experience). We've endured plenty of disallowed VAR goals already this season, so when both teams are ready to restart with the ball in the centre circle, you think the goal is valid. Sadly, after what felt like an eternity, it was ruled out.

I'm yet to see it since and have heard contrasting views, but I think we're all a bit fed up of all this now and, from all accounts, poor use of the VAR has been all the rage today in the Premier League.

Prior to that, Neal Maupay missed a gilt-edged opportunity to put us ahead, though contrived to shoot pretty much straight at Alisson from around 8 yards out. Other close calls in the Liverpool penalty area from memory include two deflected efforts, one from a Nathan Patterson drive which hit Virgil van Dijk and fell wide;  the other which also deflected and forced Alisson to pirouette mid-air and make a tremendous save.

Idrissa Gueye entered the fray amidst this and made a huge difference. Kudos though to Tom Davies who was afforded a rousing reception on departure, and not just from the crowd. Pretty much every one of our outfield players went to him to shake hands and congratulate him on a stellar effort which suggests that not only were they impressed with his output, but also that he's a popular lad in the group. 

The real star of the show, and certainly the one who will steal the headlines, is Jordan Pickford. Most of them were down the other end of the field to me so I'm yet to have a really good look at them, but he made string of saves, presumably fine ones, to help preserve our point. It felt a lot of them were in the final 20 minutes or so. From where we stood, it was hard to tell who did what down there, though I look forward to catching them on Match of the Day shortly.

We knew a lot of stoppage time was coming, we actually expected more than 6 minutes, and Liverpool piled on the pressure more or less throughout, but our team stood firm and held out for the draw. We applauded the team off before heading back to the car and away. I was back in time to catch some cricket at my local club.

Still winless, though certainly not spiritless. Good times are ahead.

Player ratings

Jordan Pickford:  I'd have to see his saves again; thinking about it, I saw a few on the screens at the ground and they looked top drawer. His distribution was frustrating but that's a lame complaint, I suppose, in comparison. 9

Vitalii Mykolenko: He stuck to his task remarkably well and kept Mo Salah as quiet as he could, which is some achievement in itself really. His best game of the season by far. 8

James Tarkowski: I know Jordan gets all the plaudits, but James was man of the match for me. You felt like he really relishes this sort of game. He was colossal at the back and was as big a factor for the clean sheet as anybody. 9

Conor Coady: It's fair to say I've been sceptical of Conor so far, though he won me over today. And what's all this nonsense about him being unable to play in a back four? For me his best two performances to date have been in a back four. Shame the goal was ruled out, it could have been a very special day for him. 8

Nathan Patterson: Talk about coming of age. He's made a superb start to life in the Premier League this season, and tasks won't come much harder than Luis Diaz. Conversely, I imagine Luis will get the better of most full-backs more so than he did Nathan. He's doing very well while he's learning. Given a season or two, he could be a special player. 9

Tom Davies: Tom was excellent. He was very unfortunate not to give us the advantage in the first half and was a key cog in midfield before being substituted. It feels like he's turned a bit of a corner, Tom, even the boo boys seem to have cut him some slack. Well done, Tom. 8

Amadou Onana: He did very well to survive the full game, especially with most of it on a yellow card. He also got studded by Virgil by all accounts in an incident which apparently could have been a red card. Nevertheless, given a few months, he'll be a brilliant player. And given 5-10 games together, a midfield of Irdissa Gueye, Amadou Onana and Alex Iwobi will be something else. 8

Alex Iwobi: He was a bit in and out of the game, but you were always comfortable when he was on the ball as you expect him to look after it and keep possession. It's literally night and day from the player who lacked confidence across our three previous managers. Well done to Alex, Frank and his team for getting that mojo back. That skillful manoeuvre on Mo Salah was certainly pleasing on the eye. 8

Demarai Gray: I thought Demarai was excellent. He was unlucky not to have set up a goal for Neal Maupay of course and was a constant threat. 8

Anthony Gordon: He caused problems with his pace though I'd say Trent Alexander-Arnold coped much better with him that at Anfield late last season. Still, a good shift from Anthony before he was substituted. 7

Neal Maupay: After about 30 minutes, we thought he looked shattered and, with no match fitness, you could understand why. Though fair play to him for carrying on – he actually grew into the game. He should have scored one, was unlucky not to have assisted another, and generally showed handy tall-round play. He's good with his back to goal, which could be useful for holding the ball up. There's plenty to work on here, and it's good to have a striker on the pitch... even if he missed a sitter. As far as debuts go, that wasn't bad at all. 7


Idrissa Gueye (for Tom Davies): Welcome back, Idrissa. He slotted in as if he's never been away. A great player. 8

Dwight McNeil (for Anthony Gordon): He didn't really get involved in the game but was disciplined defensively. 6

Reader Comments (29)

Note: the following content is not moderated or vetted by the site owners at the time of submission. Comments are the responsibility of the poster. Disclaimer ()

Francis van Lierop
1 Posted 04/09/2022 at 10:47:30
A well written report Paul.
For the first time during the first half at Leeds we looked like we have turned a corner.
Yesterday we carried on in the same way.
I never knew 0-0's could be that exciting.

The goals and the wins will come, the sooner DCL is back the better.

Bob Parrington
2 Posted 04/09/2022 at 10:54:21
After watching the Brentford vs Leeds game (in which crap refereeing went completely against Leeds IMO), how come Brentford found Ivan Toney and we didn't? What is the problem with our scouting team?
Will Mabon
3 Posted 04/09/2022 at 11:11:38
A nice report, Paul – but where are all the fours and fives in the player ratings?

Agree with Francis above, looks that a corner has been turned. Finally a real team performance, a genuinely contended match where we played our game, rather than only reacting to the opposition's game.

The very important elements of spirit and belief returned yesterday. They will make a huge difference, all the difference. I hope we can make it stick.

Robert Tressell
4 Posted 04/09/2022 at 11:12:24
Bob, it's not the scouting. The scouts know all the players.

The issue is the recruitment strategy and the development of players.

Toney needed game time in the lower leagues to learn his trade. He plays now in a team that plays to his strengths having nurtured him for a few years.

Having reassembled a good but not great squad, we need to start buying players of very high potential and be prepared to develop them. It takes time.

Bob Parrington
5 Posted 04/09/2022 at 12:02:13
Robert - Agreed!
Barry Rathbone
6 Posted 04/09/2022 at 15:22:15
Just watched the YouTube highlights we murdered them. That charge of blue shirts thundering through for the Maupay miss should be a print projected onto the liver buildings for 2 weeks. Iconic stuff

Not seen gonads like it since bobbys unforgettable 3-3

Peter Hodgson
7 Posted 04/09/2022 at 18:38:08
A good report which I think will find agreement with the majority of fans who saw the game.

Three points (a shame it wasn't) I would make to amplify you interesting excellent summary.

I watched all the games on TV this weekend and have to say, without commenting on any particular match, that VAR is a disgrace (a bit of a sick joke) and it seems nobody is happy with it so it needs looking at urgently to find something that works properly. How, I don't know but what we have today is substandard and not doing the game any good.

Secondly, I posted this on another forum regarding Nathan Patterson. I hope it finds agreement on here too. I'm very impressed with him. He seems to get better every time I see him. In fact his class and skill reminds me very much of Alex Parker who was one of the Scots who excelled in late '50s or thereabouts. Jimmy Gabriel, Bobby Collins, The Golden Vision (Alex Young) and Alex Parker plus one or two others from north of the border were all class players who were wonderful to watch. I am lucky to have been around then.

I think, luck allowing, that he will go on and become an Everton legend the same as those guys from yesteryear did.

I wish we had signed a goalscorer to provide competition for Calvert-Lewin but I don't think that was ever intended, more's the shame, but apart from that, Frank and Kev have guided us through the window well.

Bill Gienapp
8 Posted 04/09/2022 at 19:03:07
Agreed Robert (4), There's been an obvious reluctance to take a chance on young, untested talent because the recruitment strategy has basically been "How do we get into the Champion's League as quickly as possible?"

If Brands had been allowed to do his job unmolested, I think things might have played out differently these past few years... but his vision was essentially scuppered the moment Silva faltered and Ancelotti arrived.

Kieran Kinsella
9 Posted 04/09/2022 at 19:22:58
Paul good report. I didn’t need glasses like you and your mates to watch the game but I did need to find them to read the report lol.
Andy Meighan
10 Posted 04/09/2022 at 21:58:55
Good stuff ,Paul. I agree with Barry. Best derby since the Martinez 3-3 game. A game where we countered with so much pace it was untrue. Yesterday's front line were the same.

I've criticised Gray a bit since last Christmas, but by god that lad has got some pace and no little skill either, he's getting back to his first few months' form.

I'm not getting carried away because we could so easily come crashing down at Arsenal next week, but keep that up and who knows what's around the corner.

Paul Kernot
11 Posted 04/09/2022 at 22:40:16
I'm wondering if, similar to Iwobi, there's actually a real player inside Tom Davies if you put him in a confident team with a back line he can trust enough to allow him to play to his potential. Something he pretty much has never had the whole time he's been in the squad.
Jim Bennings
12 Posted 04/09/2022 at 23:35:52
Worked our sack off and 11 stalwarts against a team that for four years has been sublime even though they are a horrible bunch of whingers.

I can't fault any of them, even the chances Maupay had, he looks lively and he did well, I have no complaints over him.

Davies was unlucky, good effort would have been great if he buried that.

The whole midfield worked its arse off and the defence was solid.

Patterson is now our new right-back; sorry Seamus, you have been great for us for a decade but the time has now come to move aside for the Scottish Cafu.

We are in good hands with Frank Lampard. He's a football man, a popular guy that you can see that in the way the players are with him, he's won everything at club level as a player in recent years which is important I think.

Danny O’Neill
13 Posted 05/09/2022 at 00:25:34
Fair assessment that, Paul. I thought Patterson was great and Mykolenko continues to impress. Leadership from the centre-backs and Gueye just slotted in seamlessly. He's an improved player from the one that left us.
Jerome Shields
14 Posted 05/09/2022 at 02:45:55
Paul, you give a great insight into Maupay and his play. Very promising.
Jamie Sweet
15 Posted 05/09/2022 at 03:23:24
Danny, interesting you comment about Gueye having improved since he left us.

I couldn't quite put my finger on it, but I think he looked like he played with a bit more "swagger". Such a confident performance for someone in their first game back, being introduced on 60 minutes, in a game as pulsating as that one.

I guess that lording it up with Neymar and Messi for a couple of years would give a bit of a boost to your confidence!

Jerome Shields
16 Posted 05/09/2022 at 06:47:03
I am actually quite confident regarding the Arsenal game. IMO, they benefited a lot from the August start and the extended period of dry weather. Now they are entering the Premier League real and probably will be glad to see the early break in November.

If Everton can keep the momentum going, then the barometor of Everton's progress that this fixture has been for years, may at last swing in the right direction.

David Price
17 Posted 05/09/2022 at 06:50:46
Great Report,

Frank has not only given us belief, he has begun to build a squad. Striker aside, we now have a good bench – something we have lacked for years.

The only mistake made was letting Ellis Simms go out on loan again; he could have been very useful on Saturday. Maupay was knackered towards the end.

Martin Clark
18 Posted 05/09/2022 at 13:57:36
Agree David, Simms has been impressive so far on loan and I just wonder if it could have been his opportunity. We should have at least kept him till the end of the window.

I was very impressed with a number of performances in the derby. The performance of Gueye was so assured and he reads the game so well.

It provided me with great excitement over the possible midfield combinations with Onona looking a sublime purchase; from early performances, he looks like he'll just keep getting better. Add any of Garner, Iwobi, Doucouré and possibly Davies and Allan – it's a squad that has depth and options.

Once injuries reduce, we'll have options at the back too, leaving our strike force as the main area of development.

John Hall
19 Posted 05/09/2022 at 15:01:40
David @17

I took my grandson to watch Sunderland last week whilst I am home on holiday in Blighty.

Ellis Simms was pretty shocking at that game and looked well off the pace even in the Championship.

Many around me in the stands were shaking their heads at him as he showed he has very little pace, doesn't run the channels and tends to ball watch.

I doubt he would ever make it in the PL.

Best things he did all night was to clear several corners when Sunderland were defending.

Left winger for Sunderland was a younger signing from Man City at 10 million pounds last season. Scored a beauty and made the other two. Way above Championship level.

Great crowd, lovely friendly people, good ale inside the ground at decent prices.

Looking forward to the next Everton home game as this could be my final trip back to Blighty. C.O.Y.B.

Paul Burns
20 Posted 06/09/2022 at 12:18:20
We'll never get our Everton back as long as fans (and the club) celebrate a draw like a win. It's as pathetic as the time Billy Bingham ran on the pitch at Anfield with his arms in the air after a 0-0 draw in the 1970s.

We should expect to win every game, anything else is just an excuse for low standards – and it doesn't matter who we are playing, all this just highlights the lack of quality and ambition killing the club.

More than a tenth of the season has gone and we're still looking for our first league win yet you would think we were flying, such are the low expectations that have infected our support – worse than long Covid!

Peter Hodgson
21 Posted 06/09/2022 at 15:39:24
John @ 19

I have been watching on and off Simms for the last couple of years and now that he is at Sunderland for the season, I am afraid I have to agree with you.

I wasn't sure whether we should have kept him to ourselves, given the paucity of our striker situation but, after watching them on TV last night, I am pleased we let him go. I thought when I fist saw him that he had potential but needs to put himself about a bit more and work much harder to fully capitalise on his talent.

He hasn't improved at all. I don't see him coming back here on a permanent basis.

John McFarlane Snr
22 Posted 06/09/2022 at 16:30:12
Hi Paul [20]

It wasn't just the draw that I was celebrating, it was 'who the opposition were', and the manner in which the draw was attained.

I know that one game early in the season isn't a guarantee of success, but I saw application that has been missing for a long time. I can't recall when five players last attacked with such pace and purpose.

I feel sure that the players will have been told that now they have shown what they're capable of, they have set the bar for the rest of the season.

I don't consider celebrating a result to be a sign of ''highlighting a lack of quality and ambition''. I've learned down the years, that expecting to win every game, is not the best way to approach games.

I attend games hoping to win, but recognising "That anything can happen in a game of football". Some other people will disagree, but each to his own.

Lee Robinson
23 Posted 06/09/2022 at 16:46:04
This is almost an entirely different side based on the start of the start of the season last year and it is showing already with the potential for further improvement.

I love the base and the spine of this side already and for years how we look much more comfortable in possession. It's hopefully a good base to build from and it will be interesting to see how Frank looks to improve further in future windows, a Neves/Odegaard/Mount type playmaker is missing perhaps.

I think even with starting the season without a striker, it is not too optimistic to say we could have come away with a win in most of the games, and we have 3 tricky away fixtures out the way and two home fixtures which are expected to finish in the top 4.

Just looking at the next Arsenal and West Ham games it appears they both come off tricky away Europa Conference fixtures on the Thursday before our game. So you could say a perfect time to play both of these sides and we won't get a better opportunity to get 6 points which would just set this team up beautifully for the season ahead and take the pressure off.

Jay Harris
24 Posted 06/09/2022 at 16:57:58
I looked on on Saturday and thought to myself, "Has anybody got 2 more skilful and rapid wingers than Anthony Gordon and Demarai Gray?"

Now that we've beefed up the midfield and defence, I am looking forward to seeing them flower and grow.

Jim Lloyd
25 Posted 06/09/2022 at 17:16:35
Totally agree with you, Jay. I think with the stronger and more clever midfield we're developing, the more chances to shoot, run on to through balls and develop stronger understanding with each other, these two can become more lethal, both in scoring and setting other team members up for a goalscoring opportunity.

I hope Gordon does develop his shooting skills (not a bad start but let's see) then we'll have the goalscorers in our squad we're looking for. It'd be great if we find a really prolific scorer; but until then, we can improve our goalscoring as it stands

Julian Wait
26 Posted 06/09/2022 at 17:18:42

@Jay 24 - City have Grealish, Mahrez and Foden, for starters. Spurs have Son, Richarlison and Kulusevski, Arsenal have Saka and Martinelli.
Jim Lloyd
27 Posted 06/09/2022 at 17:43:03
Peter (7),

I was thinking the same thing about Patterson. He reminds me of a mixture of Jimmy Gabriel and Alex Parker. What a young player we've got! her bossed ant red who came near and took no prisoners either.

Then on top of that, he's brilliant at getting forward and contributing to our attacks. I too was lucky enough to see our Scots contingent in the Sixties, and he looks like he'll be able to stand right up there with them.

Julian, yes, they both have lots of top-class players as do Liverpool, Chelsea and Man Utd. But we are where we are.

We have good players who we haven't made the best use of. On top of that we have a strong defence; and in Onona and Gana, we've brought intop class into our midfield.

The chances were there on Saturday to see off Liverpool, just inches away from scoring at least three before their late blast.

So I agree with Jay, that our team can provide lots of chances to score now, so maybe Gray and Gordon can relish in the forward play, rather than coming back as much, to help out our defence as they had to previously. I also think (probably more like hope but who knows) that Maupay will settle down and enjoy his football with the rest of the lads.

ps: Pete, I also agree with you about the VAR, the way it's run is scandalous. I'd rather see a referee or linesman make a decision and get the stick he deserves if he gets it wrong!

David West
28 Posted 06/09/2022 at 19:26:35
Rob 4. Spot on. That's it mate. Toney wasn't the player he is now when Brentford bought him, or they wouldn't be able to afford him. I would love him In our team by the way!

It's a matter of opinion, but our best 3 players when Frank arrived imo, were, Calvert-Lewin, Coleman and Gordon. Price: £1.506m. We know Gordon's been here all along but the others were nurtured in to the quality players they became.
Let's get more like Calvert-Lewin, I'd rather spend £10-15M on a few younger players who may come good than the gambles we have taken in the past few years.

Time is the key, same with the team Frank's putting together if we know it's going to take time, we know there will be defeats and bad days but can see the progress of players and the team, I believe most Evertonians will be on board.

Some won't, like the ones who are saying why are we applauding a draw against Liverpool. Well those who see the bigger picture, understand the stepping stones it's going to take to get back up the league to be competing.

Glen Whelan
29 Posted 06/09/2022 at 20:01:16
Loving the style of play again. Some gritted teeth positive Sunday newspaper reports… that should now wake them up to the reinvented Everton rather than suggesting sacking of our Frank.

Really good report, exactly how I feel, we are getting our Everton back, and we are making excellent signings once again. My weekends are much better!

Add Your Comments

In order to post a comment, you need to be logged in as a registered user of the site.

» Log in now

Or Sign up as a ToffeeWeb Member — it's free, takes just a few minutes and will allow you to post your comments on articles and Talking Points submissions across the site.

How to get rid of these ads and support TW

© ToffeeWeb